Assessing quality of life in long-term cancer survivors: a review of available tools.

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

PubMedID: 23903800

Muzzatti B, Annunziata MA. Assessing quality of life in long-term cancer survivors: a review of available tools. Support Care Cancer. 2013;.
PURPOSE
Considering that the number of people with oncological history is constantly growing, and that cancer survivorship has very specific long-term and late (both medical and psychosocial) effects, it seems useful to have specific multidimensional instruments to measure quality of life (QoL). This contribution aims to describe the characteristics and psychometric properties of QoL assessment tools specifically designed for the condition of long-term cancer survivorship.

METHODS
We queried the MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases, which allowed us to identify the pertinent papers, classified by the QoL tool they refer to. We then extracted the characteristics and the psychometric properties from each study.

RESULTS
From the initial 902 papers, 18 meet the selection criteria referring to eight QoL measurements. However, a multipart validation process in order to verify validity and reliability was only started for two of these tools.

CONCLUSIONS
Even though clinical practice documents that long-term cancer survivors present with different symptoms and functional challenges compared to patients who are currently undergoing treatment as well as the general population, we still lack a quality of life tool that is specific for them, and that has verified psychometric properties. Even though some of the instruments we described are promising, it is necessary to continue their refinement.